Tennis Betting Advice - September 2020

French Open: Day 4 Preview – The 100/1 Club…

Wednesday 30th September 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • French Open – Day 4…
  • 2nd Round starts today, 10am…
  • The 100/1 Club…

Welcome to Day 4 of your Ones to Watch French Open daily service…

The Next Gen survive…

The men’s ‘Next Gen’ need to learn how to keep matches short. That’s not easy in these Roland Garros conditions. But top seed & world no.1 Novak Djokovic needed just one hour and 38 minutes on court yesterday.

In comparison, Denis Shapovalov, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and our 50/1+ pick Andrey Rublev, all required more than three hours to come through their respective matches.

Rublev and Tsitsipas can be forgiven for making slow starts. They played each other in the ATP Hamburg final on Sunday, before heading to Paris. Both came from two sets to nil down on Tuesday, to eventually get through to round two, 3-2.

Shapovalov won 3-1, but was on court for just as long.

The 2nd quarter of the men’s draw has the potential for Rublev to meet Shapovalov or Tsitsipas in the quarter final, should they make it through week one. That draw-sheet scenario is one reason that we got on Rublev yesterday.

Shapovalov is a bigger price (80/1), but gives his serve away too much for my liking.

Tsitsipas is the shortest odds of those three Next Gen men (40/1 tops), but is also getting himself into troubling positions too often right now.

Court time isn’t as worrying to me as it is for some commentators. These young men are all supremely fit, and match-sharpness can only be achieved through sustained competitive play. But of course, we don’t want fatigue or injury niggles to build over the two-week grind of a Grand Slam.

Into the 2nd Round we go…

The 2nd round starts today. The top half of the women’s draw are in action with 16 matches. And in the men’s, it’s the turn of the bottom half first.

In the Outright Winner market, three of the top four women are in this top side of the draw. The favourite, Simona Halep (now 9/4), Victoria Azarenka (9/1 at best), and Serena Williams (12/1 – 16/1).

We have one outsider flying the Ones to Watch flag in that top-heavy part of the draw…

Iga Swiatek made the 4th round here in Paris last year, one match off the quarter finals, and it took Halep to stop her.

The Polish teenager, now 19 years old, looked very good in round one this week. She is one of the ‘strong-arm’ players we spoke about yesterday, in that Iga possesses the raw power to hit through these slow-playing clay courts & balls.

Swiatek also has the ‘tennis brain’ that we discussed; the ability to figure out which shots to play to hurt different opponents.

She says she’s excited. A couple more wins and big performances this week, and we’ll be getting excited, too. We’re on at odds ranging from 33/1 and 40/1, to 80/1 and 100/1.

Unlike the Next Gen men, teenager Swiatek made very fast time in the 1st round, winning 2-0 in just one hour and five minutes. Today, she takes on 34-year-old Su-Wei Hsieh…

So the story goes, Hsieh played a practise session with a then nine-year-old Swiatek, a decade ago, when Iga was a ball-girl at a tournament in Warsaw. And here they are today, meeting again at a Grand Slam.

The bookies fancy our player today, with Swiatek priced at short odds-on, 2/11 (1.18) to win that match.

As well as Rublev and Swiatek, our other Each Way picks currently in the Outright Winner book are:

  • Stan Wawrinka (33/1+)
  • Elena Rybakina (25/1)
  • Fiona Ferro (50/1+)

The 100/1 Club…

There are two young men that stand out at very big prices this week.

Like Swiatek in the women’s, Jannik Sinner featured as one of the 10 players in our pre-season report, Ones to Watch in 2020.

The Italian teenager wowed many with a crushing 3-0 win over the experienced David Goffin in round one. He also beat Tsitsipas in Rome this month.

Admittedly, Goffin was not at the races this week. But what impressed was the 19-year-old’s aggressive game style, and his calm and focused on-court demeanour. John McEnroe has gone on record saying Sinner can win ‘multiple’ Grand Slams.

As with Sinner, Casper Ruud’s best surface is the clay. We were on the 21-year-old Norwegian at 150/1 in Rome. He reached the semi finals, and won many new fans that week.

Casper followed that up with another semi final last week in Hamburg. He’s now won eight out of 10 matches on clay this September, only losing to Djokovic and Rublev.

2020 is already going down as Ruud’s breakthrough year. He’s won his first ATP title, and reached another final, too – all on clay. He now stands at a new career-high of no.25 in the world. He’s expected to go much higher in the months and years to come.

As we noted in Rome, Casper also has the good on-court attitude and smart head on his shoulders that we look for.

The exciting thing about these guys is that there is a huge upside. Odds of 150/1 each are widely available. If this French Open turns out to be the one where they make their name, then the prices will go down as absolute crackers.

Of course, they’re priced at over 100/1 for a reason. Sinner and/ or Ruud will likely need to go through Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem to get to the final stages.

Nadal, Thiem and Djokovic are the tournament favourites. You could back all three to win the French Open, and still end up making a loss – such are the prices. At Ones to Watch, we don’t back the favourites.

At some point, there will be a changing of the guard in the men’s game. When that happens, we want to be in the best position to capitalise, at the very best odds.

Potential upsets on Day 4…

Two women’s matches catch the eye for a potential upset today. Going after the biggest odds for the banana skin result, I like the 2-1 Set Betting route…

Tsvetana Pironkova v Serena Williams

We were on Pironkova at 100/1+ at the US Open, and she almost got past Serena in the quarter finals, leading by a set and a break at one stage. Meeting today on clay, where Serena’s power is neutralised somewhat, and the stealthy Pironkova can weave her web more than ever, the shock could be on.

The Bulgarian is 2/1 to win. If she does, it won’t be plain sailing. Serena doesn’t lose easily. All five of Williams’ match defeats this season at all levels have been by the 2-1 score-line. That option is 5/1+.

Kaia Kanepi v Elise Mertens

Mertens is very clearly expected to win this. Younger, higher-ranked, and in-form. The Belgian is priced at 2/9 (1.22) across the board.

However, veteran Kanepi is something of a specialist when it comes to disrupting the odds…

Now 35 years of age, the Estonian almost exclusively only turns up in Grand Slams these days. That’s where the big pay cheques and most ranking points are.

With over 200 career match wins on the clay, this is Kanepi’s best surface. She’s a former quarter finalist here at Roland Garros.

Time and injuries have taken their toll, for sure. But Kaia still possesses the weapons to pull off a big result on the day. She has the muscle and firepower to cause Mertens problems here. A couple of years ago, Kanepi dumped Simona Halep out in the 1st round of the Australian Open.

Barring straight-sets losses v big names Halep, Victoria Azarenka and Naomi Osaka this summer, many of Mertens’ defeats to lower-ranked opponents have gone the three-set route (I have in mind losing 2-1 score-lines against the likes of Yulia Putintseva and Heather Watson this season, for example).

Kanepi is 10/3 (4.33) for the underdog win. Again, we can double that by taking the 2-1 Set Betting route, with odds of 8/1 available.

Ones to Watch:

Outright Winner picks – Each Way

French Open – Men’s:

  • Jannik Sinner is 150/1 with Skybet, William Hill, BetVictor, 140/1 888 Sport, Unibet, 125/1 Bet365, Betfred, NetBet, 10Bet, 100/1 Betway, Boylesports
  • Casper Ruud is 150/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Boylesports, 888 Sport, Unibet, 125/1 Betway, NetBet, 10Bet, 100/1 Betfred, BetVictor, Skybet

Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places.

Tsvetana Pironkova v Serena Williams

  • Set Betting: Pironkova to win 2-1 is 11/2 (6.5) with Bet365, William Hill, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral, Sportingbet, Bwin, 888 Sport, Unibet, 5/1 (6.0) Skybet, NetBet, 10Bet, Betfred

Kaia Kanepi v Elise Mertens

  • Set Betting: Kanepi to win 2-1 is 17/2 (9.5) with Ladbrokes, Coral, 8/1 (9.0) with Bet365, 888 Sport, Unibet, NetBet, 10Bet, Sportingbet, Bwin, 15/2 (8.5) BetVictor

Play starts from 10am and runs throughout the day

You can watch the French Open live on the Eurosport channels, website & app. On selected bookie websites with a funded account. And also, on ITV4 (thanks to David for emailing in to remind me of that!).

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with your Day 5 email.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch